Jeremiah 37:14 Then said Jeremiah, It is false; I fall not away to the Chaldeans. But he hearkened not to him: so Irijah took Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes. (KJV)
Jer 37:14 Jeremiah answered, “That’s a lie! I’m not deserting to the Babylonians.” But Irijah wouldn’t listen to him. Irijah arrested Jeremiah and took him to the officials. (GW, God’s Word translation)
Jer 37:14 “I’m not trying to join them!” I answered. But Irijah wouldn’t listen, and he took me to the king’s officials. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)
While searching a 600-page document today that I wrote while creating The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury that records the additions, corrections, and changes I made to the text of my first book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, I discovered I wrote a note at Jeremiah 37:14 that is quite appropriate to this time in terms of current events, so I thought it would be good to share it here.
First, let me quote a bit more of the context so you can appreciate the predicament Jeremiah found himself in at a very dangerous time in his country of Israel:
Jer 37:11 The Babylonian army had left because the Egyptian army was on its way to help us.
Jer 37:12 So I decided to leave Jerusalem and go to the territory of the Benjamin tribe to claim my share of my family’s land.
Jer 37:13 I was leaving Jerusalem through Benjamin Gate, when I was stopped by Irijah, the officer in charge of the soldiers at the gate. He said, “Jeremiah, you’re under arrest for trying to join the Babylonians.”
Jer 37:14 “I’m not trying to join them!” I answered. But Irijah wouldn’t listen, and he took me to the king’s officials.
Jer 37:15 They were angry and ordered the soldiers to beat me. Then I was taken to the house that belonged to Jonathan, one of the king’s officials. It had been turned into a prison, and I was kept in a basement room. After I had spent a long time there… (CEV)
A key point to notice is that the authority figure who arrested Jeremiah falsely failed to listen to what Jeremiah had to say. Failing to actually listen and actually hear what another person is saying is a major character flaw found in many people in authority. In terms of pursuing justice, this ought not to be.
Here is the note I placed at Jeremiah 37:14 in the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury:
hearkened not. This character flaw is seen in Scripture and life to afflict law enforcement, political leaders, legislators, judges, management, and administrators at every level, a striking manifestation of injustice. The proper and contrary attitude was manifested by Naaman (+*2Ki 5:13; +*2Ki 5:14). This serious problem afflicts church pastors, leaders, and members, who likewise fail to listen to newcomers and so reject them rather than receive them into the fellowship as commanded in Scripture (+**Rom 15:7). Loyalty is developed by demonstrating care, and care is demonstrated by listening (+**Psa 9:10, **1Co 12:25). No wonder the local outreach of our churches is so dismal and so many church visitors and even members fall prey to false cults that readily welcome them (**Jon 4:11 note. +**Rom 15:7). +**1Sa 25:17, **Hab 1:4.
Romans 15:7 is a most important verse. I have written an extensive commentary on this verse, discussing each cross reference I provided in detail. That commentary is found here under the Category to the right called “Verse-by-verse Studies.”